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Employment Scenario in India

Employment Scenario in India


Recently, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Institute of Human Development (IHD) together released the India Employment Report for 2024.

Key Findings of the India Employment Report (2024):

  • Youth Unemployment: India’s youth account for almost 83% of the unemployed workforce.
    • The share of youngsters with secondary or higher education in the total unemployed has almost doubled from 35.2% in 2000 to 65.7% in 2022.
  • Labour Market Indicators: The key labour market indicators such as the Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR), Worker Population Ratio (WPR), and the Unemployment Rate (UR) showed a long-term deterioration between 2000 and 2018.
  • Employment Conditions: Despite the improvements in labour market indicators, the employment conditions in India remain poor.
  • The slow transition to non-farm employment has reversed, and women largely account for the increase in self-employment and unpaid family work.
  • Almost 90% of workers remain engaged in informal work, while the share of regular work, which steadily increased after 2000, declined after 2018.
  • There are widespread livelihood insecurities, with only a small percentage being covered with social protection measures.
  • Skills Gap: The report noted that India’s large young workforce doesn’t appear to have the skills to deliver — with 75% of youth unable to send emails with attachments, 60% unable to copy and paste files, and 90% unable to put a mathematical formula into a spreadsheet.
  • Job Market: India’s job market saw a 2% Month on Month (MoM) decline in Nov 2023, with an overall 10% Year on Year (YoY) drop.
  • Widening Gender Gap: The lack of quality employment opportunities is reflected in the high level of joblessness among young people, especially among those who have achieved higher education.

Policy Areas for Action Highlighted in Report:

  • Promoting Job Creation: The report emphasises the need for policies that foster job creation to absorb the large number of youths joining the labour force annually.
  • Improving Employment Quality: The quality of employment in India remains poor, with a large proportion of workers engaged in informal work.
    • The report calls for measures to improve employment conditions and provide workers with better job security and benefits.
  • Addressing Labour Market Inequalities: The report highlights the need to address persistent inequalities in the labour market, such as those based on gender, caste, and region.
  • Strengthening Skills and Active Labour Market Policies: The report notes that a large proportion of India’s youth lack the necessary skills for employment.
    • It calls for stronger skills development initiatives and active labour market policies to enhance the employability of the youth.
  • Bridging the Knowledge Deficits on Labour Market Patterns and Youth Employment: The report underscores the need for more research and data to understand labour market trends and the specific challenges faced by young people in the labour market.

Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana (ABRY): Launched as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat package 3.0, this scheme incentivizes employers for creating new employment along with social security benefits and restoration of loss of employment during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY): This scheme was launched to incentivize employers for the creation of new employment.

National Career Service (NCS) Project: This project provides a variety of career related services like job matching, career counselling, vocational guidance, information on skill development courses, apprenticeships, internships, etc.

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA): This act provides at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan (PMGKRA): This initiative was launched to boost employment and livelihood opportunities for returnee migrant workers and similarly affected persons in rural areas.

Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY): This scheme facilitates self-employment by providing collateral-free loans up to Rs. 10 lakh to micro/small business enterprises and individuals.

Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan (GKRA): This initiative was launched to provide immediate employment and livelihood opportunities to the distressed and to saturate the villages with public infrastructure and creation of livelihood assets.

PM GatiShakti: This is a transformative approach for economic growth and sustainable development, driven by seven engines, namely, Roads, Railways, Airports, Ports, Mass Transport, Waterways, and Logistics Infrastructure.


  • The employment situation in India is grim, with high unemployment rates, lack of skills, and gender disparities. Government initiatives such as Make in India, Start-up India, Digital India, Smart City Mission, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation, Housing for All, Infrastructure Development, and Industrial Corridors aim to generate employment opportunities.
  • However, there is a need for more robust policies and initiatives to improve the employment situation in the country.

Read also: Job Creation: A Big Challenge

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